Friday, May 26, 2006

Three Days

The title of a great song by Jane's Addiction, Three Days will also be part of my plan to completely rid myself of the ghost of this calf problem I have been having. I've been trying to ignore it, but it keeps reminding me that it is there. It hasn't been painful, but it has been hanging out, waiting for the next hard workout, the next long run, the next opportunity to make me question how long I can continue running well before it decides to flare up and sideline me for a week.

I've decided to slide all of my workouts three days down the calendar, in hopes of cleaning up the problem for good. The PT made a suggestion about a week ago that backing off the mileage would be helpful in healing, but he was cool with continuing my normal schedule. The treatments I had received seemed to work right up to a point one or two days after the tempo and long run, then my calf flared up again on Monday morning. After massage and treatment, they were good through two easy days, and the steady 12-miler, but then sore and tight again twelve hours later, for no apparent reason. I suggested to the PT on Tuesday that it might all be in my head. He didn't agree that the pain was in my head, but he agreed that the strange behavior of the symptoms was probably getting to me mentally.

So anyway, the plan is three days of doubles, four and four miles, at an easy pace with a couple of faster miles in there for a reasonable amount of stress. I'll also be supplementing some strength exercises specifically for the peroneals, dorsiflexors, and the calf area. I haven't decided yet if I will drop the tempo run this week and catch the long run on Monday, tempo Wednesday, and steady Friday, or if I will tempo Monday, go long on Wednesday, then steady on Sunday, say at 5:50-5:55 pace for 10 miles or so somewhere in San Diego. Not sure yet.

I hope this works. I think it's worth investing a few easy days to try to clear this off, both for my mental state as well as my physical. It has been extremely tough to go for a hard run and worry the whole time that it might be the one that derails me for another ten days. I could afford one ten day interruption, but the next one would be my fourth in just over two months. Not cool.


Blogger Mike

Must....keep....running. Should I find it strange that your PT's office is the same color we painted our daughter's room?

Seriously, I'm glad you're tackling it head on. How about those 5:55's on the lonely stretch of interstate during the marathon. Just jump in at the on-ramp, I have last year's bib ready for you.

5/26/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Fatboy

I like your approach. It stinks that you're not bouncing back as quickly as you'd like, but you've still got plenty of time. I think this is an interesting lesson about treadmill running. Taken to extremes like you did, the developmental shortcomings of that type of running are showing up here. It sounds like your calves are simply trying to play catch up with the rest of your body. If so, that's good news, because, with the things you're doing, you should be well on your way.

5/26/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Eric

Trying on my best Sean Connery voice, "Well then, (dramatic pause) it appears you've got my number." I've never bandited a race before, but maybe I'll give it a try. I'm a better runner than I am a photographer anyway.

Is your daughter angry with you yet about the paint color? I'd sleep with one eye open if I were you.

Fatboy, you are correct. Mine is a case study in the dangers of too much treadmill running. Based on my findings, I would not recommend running 1200+ miles on a treadmill in three months. I hope they catch up soon.

5/26/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous dezmo

Thanks for the kind words on Mike's site. I'm a cranky middle age man and don't deserve it! Anyhow, don't fret. I've had your site bookmarked for a while now and always enjoy the posts. It's pretty obvious you know your stuff. 31:48 ... yowza!

On the calf injuries I'll throw something out there. I strained each achilles once about two years ago. I was running in Mizuno Wave Mavericks ... my running shoe purchase in 12 years (I pulled the old Chariot HF's out of the closet when I resurrected my running). Anyway, the strains were pretty bad (not able to walk right for a couple days, you know the drill) and I decided that maybe the arch was too high for me and putting additional strain on the achilles as my foot was forced to "bend" over the arch support. Crazy, eh? I switched to NB 854's and then the Wave Alchemy and haven't had a problem since. No science here, just some experience to consider.

5/31/2006 08:01:00 PM  

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